Madagascan music hits big

By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Pop in Balance, the new CD from world music group Tarika Sammy, and the gorgeous stringed instrumentation quickly sweeps the listener away to the island of Madagascar.

There has been a recent explosion of musical releases from this African island. As recently as 1991, just three compact discs that contained music from Madagascar were available, but by the end of 1993 there were nearly 40. The leader of this sudden interest in the island's music is Tarika Sammy, whose two CDs the aforementioned Balance and 1992's Fanafody have both crested atop the Billboard World Music charts.

Tarika Sammy will bring their uplifting vocal harmonies, elegant guitar and zither strumming, and striking rhythms to Tucson Friday night. The quartet of two men and two women will perform a magical music that blends African pop and seemingly traditional folk music for a combination that engagingly transcends language and musical barriers.

The roots music extravaganza will get started at 8 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music. Tarika will perform two long sets of music.

Tarika plays Fridayat the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. 6th Ave., just south of Grant Road. Tickets are $11 in advance, and $13 at the door. For more information, call the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music at 327-4809.

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